[Update: Politico just revised it original story and took out the part about McConnell waiving the right to force a vote. They now say Reid’s agreement with McConnell was just that he “won’t oppose bringing the immigration bill to the floor.” Whether this is more shoddy reporting from McConnell or a change in heart by the minority leader is yet to be determined. The Hill seems to suggest that McConnell did in fact agree not to force a cloture vote. If McConnell did not intend to offer that agreement, he should make sure Harry Reid doesn’t get “the wrong message.”
We must continue to pressure him to force a vote on motion to proceed. Either way, this is wrongheaded policy, as Democrats have made it clear they will vote down all enforcement amendments. There is no reason to vote yes on motion to proceed.]
We all understand that there is a lot of money to be raised by supporting the amnesty bill. It comes as no surprise that McConnell is promoting this bill on K Street every week. But one would expect a man who was in the Senate long enough to vote for the 1986 amnesty to be a bit more cautious in jumping into the same sinkhole this late in his career. Instead, McConnell plans to lay down in front of the La Raza tanks and let them steamroll through the Senate.
Mitch McConnell has already announced that he plans to vote for cloture to proceed with debate on the bill, ostensibly sealing the fate of the bill. Today, he has announced that there will be no cloture vote at all: (Politico)
The Senate will begin considering the landmark immigration reform bill next week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday morning.
“Even if we we’ve not completed action on the farm bill or the student loans proposals, we’re going to bring immigration to the floor next week. Immigration is broken, it needs to be fixed,” Reid said in his opening remarks on Tuesday.
Reid said it’s his understanding that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will allow the bill to come to the floor without having to clear a procedural vote, and Reid said he is “grateful” to his Republican colleague for not pushing for cloture.
In his opening remarks, McConnell did not mention the immigration bill.
So McConnell plans to allow the bill to proceed by unanimous consent. It is precisely this cloddish leadership from McConnell that has rendered our filibuster-breaking minority worthless.
As we noted a few weeks ago, it is critical to bring the Senators out of the shadows from day one and document where they stand on a piece of legislation. By having a cloture vote at the beginning of debate, we can see which senators need to hear from We the People. That is exactly how we defeated the gun bill. Even though the other side won the cloture vote, we were able to identify who could be persuaded to vote on the side of the Constitution. It worked.
Now, Mitch McConnell wants to ensure that the other side wins the immigration debate by eliminating the vote on cloture. That way they can immediately proceed to amendments without eliciting angry feedback from constituents. Once they are finished with debate, and after voting for good amendments that will ultimately fail, Republican supporters of amnesty will be able to dive into the end zone and vote for final passage.
We must call McConnell’s office and request that he come out of the shadows and go on record with a cloture vote next week. We’ve seen enough of this bill and the process to know that the crafters of the bill have no intention to fundamentally alter the bill. The fix is in. Anyone who still supports it needs to document that support with a real vote.